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Thread: Tap holes drying out.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Southwest Nebraska
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    30

    Default Tap holes drying out.

    I've read on this site both that early drilled tap holes do and don't dry up in a short amount of time. And while I live in a completely different area of the world than you guys do, a lot dryer ( the great American desert) almost all of the holes I drilled Jan 2nd have gone dry. Never ran sap either. Spiles with plastic hose to buckets, Gravity. Today I drilled holes in new trees and nearly every one was dripping. Went back to the early drilled trees, drilled new holes and most of them started dripping. Not exactly how you're supposed to do it but..... All my trees are Box Elder as Maple are scarce here.

    Jim
    Last edited by Jim Foster; 02-16-2020 at 07:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    il
    Posts
    53

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    Isn't a Box Elder in the Maple family? Should be the same unless its a different tree in the desert country.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    144

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    True name for a Box Elder is an Ash Leafed Maple. They are quite tapable, usually just a lower sugar content.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - going for 100 taps bags and buckets

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Elsie mi
    Posts
    128

    Default

    They make good sugar but dont have the same maple flavor. And as far as re taping dont worry they are a very tough tree. The syrup reminds me of honey.
    25 years sugaring
    2018 191taps. Made 80 gallons
    Two taps to a 5 gallon bucket roadside trees.
    A retired dad to hump buckets and do most of the boiling the great wife that let's me spend lots of time and money.
    New Smokey lake 2×6 raised flue SSR on my own version of the silverplate arch.
    2019 new hood and new preheater concept that worked great.
    306 taps roadside trees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Mantorville, MN
    Posts
    39

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    When I first was introduced to making maple syrup, I started with Box Elders. They were/are very prevalent on my property. They poured sap. My boys were so sick of hauling sap I figured this would only last a couple of years. I never had any holes dry up before we were sick of hauling. It does make a nice syrup. Very sweet almost nutty flavor. Not as strong of maple flavor but the syrup tastes better than a broken branch smells. It took us about 80-90 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. As our addiction grew we moved on to Sugar Maples.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Southwest Nebraska
    Posts
    30

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    Oh, the flavor of our Box Elder is excellent! Everyone that's sampled what I made last year were surprised at the taste and I have more people interested in buying it than I can make. Last year I had 12 taps or so, this year around 130. Have the fever!!

    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    4,886

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Foster View Post
    ... almost all of the holes I drilled Jan 2nd have gone dry.
    So about 6 weeks. That is normal. What type of sanitation were you using for your spouts and tubing (how'd you clean them or did you use new spouts)?
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
    Posts
    4,886

    Default

    I was thinking the same as Dr Perkins. 6 weeks is all I would expect. Now the not running part. We need to review a little more. Are you drilling approx 21.5 to 2 inches deep? spout is set gently with no tree splitting? have freezing and thawing cycles to start and stop the flows? You should be getting sap I think Although I know nothing about the box elder. I would suggest you sell every thing and move to Albion PA! I will then act as a enabler for you to spend lots of money on shiney syrup stuff and make some good maple syrup.
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    600 roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU, AOF and AUF
    12" SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    poultney vermont
    Posts
    693

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    I don't know what your weather is like but many people are tapping too early. You should not be tapping when night temps are consistenly single digits and teens, unless you have 100,000 taps. Your first 4-6 weeks are prime after that flow goes down, I don't care what anyone says tree biology here is the same as tree biology anywhere!! Nothing can prevent this even the beloved CVS, if tapholes ran forever the tree would never heal!!

    Understand this- tap Holes close up it's that simple. Be careful who you listen to. Heard one guy talking a 14-16 week old taphole producing- yeah ok producing what a cup per tap- that's not producing sorry that's dreaming and I don't believe it for a minute. I drill mid February and by end of May they are starting to heal with new cambium growth in taphole so you tell me if they run solid for @6 weeks?? By week 8-9 I've gone from 1200-1400 gallons per day per tank to 600-700, likely from tapholes aging and plugging.

    Like I said be careful, when money is involved people will say anything. Experience is the best policy not a study on paper. As far as research if it's not reproducible time and time again then it's not credible.

    Not sure about box elder but on sugars you'll get a solid 4 weeks of 100% capacity on vaccum. .....near 75% for the next 2 weeks, then you will lose really quick as temps start hitting the 50s

    It sounds as if you tapped too early if you didn't get any sap. When there's mud the sap is running! Buckets don't last but a few weeks so timing is crucial.
    18x30 sugarshack
    3500 taps high vac
    3x10 inferno with steampan
    7'' wes fab filter press
    D&G 1000
    300&400 gal stainless concentrate tank
    1-2500
    3-1550's
    4-275's
    more taps to come in '19

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,314

    Default

    On gravity tap holes will usually dry up in about 6 weeks if using new taps and tubing or properly cleaned tubing and new taps. On high vacuum taps can go as long as 3-3.5 months, sometimes even 4 months, still wet but not much flow. Again, with good sanitation and high vacuum (over 25").
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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